How To Make Money Online With Website Flipping? A Step By Step Guide For 2019

Make money online with Website Flipping - Rupee Sage

Before we get into the details of 'Website Flipping', let me give you a brief introduction of the topic just in case you are coming across it for the first time. If you already know what flipping a website is, you can skip the initial part of the article. Right!

What is Website Flipping?
Website flipping is the business of buying a pre-existing website for a cheaper price, upgrading (improving it) adding value and selling it for a profit. As simple as that.

A good example of such a business practice is the real estate industry. You buy a property, renovate it, add value for potential customers and then sell it for a profit. Another example I can think of is the Day Trading in stock markets. You buy a share when it's cheaper and sell when it's value increases. This process is called 'flipping', which is probably where the term Website Flipping comes from.

Why you should seriously consider website flipping as a serious source of income?
  1. Much affordable initial investment makes it easier for first time investors like you and me to easily access and venture into the market and make some handy investments.
  2. Unlike the real estate industry, you can start generating revenue while you are still upgrading the website. You don't have to wait until the website is sold to make money.
  3. Buying or selling a website is a much easier, quicker and hassle-free process than say property or stocks. Buying or selling are just a click away.
  4. The whole transaction can be performed online in total confidence.
  5. Because of high traffic, transactions on the web can be perceived to be much higher than their actual value. Facebook acquiring Whatsapp for $19 billion while they had only 5 employees, is a shining example.

Types of website flipping
Now there are two ways to website flipping:
  1. You start your own website from scratch, develop, build and improve it based on customer demand and then once it starts generating revenue, you sell it for a profit.
  2. You buy an existing website, study their target audience, improve and upgrade, and finally sell it for a better price.

In most cases, it is easier to buy an existing website and flip it rather than build a website from scratch. The pros of buying an existing website for flipping far outweigh the hassles that tag along with starting your own website.

Consider this. Would you want to move into a house that is already built and suits your requirements or buy some land, bricks and concrete and build your own house? While the latter seems like a more viable option, it comes with too many hassles. You hire contractors, pay them a fortune and continuously monitor their work with no guarantee of the desired outcome. Considering all this, a pre-built house sounds like a much wiser option. Website flipping is very similar in this regard. You don't have to hire contractors or middlemen; a major reason why website flipping is a constantly growing market and very much in demand.

How does website flipping work?
Step 1: Buy
Buy a website that caters to your target audience. Analyze and choose the best website for your requirements.

Step 2: Upgrade
Add value to the site in terms of good SEO, better interface, easy access through various devices, easier navigation, valuable content and any other way to satisfy your customer.

Step 3: Sell
Calculate your monthly/yearly revenues and come up with a proper valuation for your website. If you have a good valuation at hand, sell it to the right customer.

Where and how to flip websites?
There are a ton of online marketplaces where you can buy and sell websites. Flippa, Afternic, Freemarket, Website Broker are some websites that offer these services. Top websites like these offer a wide range of services including like AdSense activation, Software as a Service, E-commerce assessment and much more.

However, instead of going through online marketplaces, I recommend searching websites individually on the internet. This will give you freedom to pick and choose and negotiate your own price. Most of the online marketplaces do charge a commission on the sale, which can be avoided by finding a website on your own.

There are hundreds of websites with good page ranks and consistent traffic that haven't been monetized well. Or websites that have good monetization options but don't show up on top of Google's listings. It is easy to find websites like these with a simple Google search.

Tips and tricks to boost your website acquisition game
Before you go and try to acquire websites, it is extremely important that you be clear with your expectations and what you are getting into. Have specific goals, a clear vision for the website and a well thought out monetization strategy.

Here are a few proven strategies to acquire websites:
  1. It is always a good idea to buy a website with incoming traffic towards a product/service you already have a market share of. Use it to direct traffic from the new website to your existing website and add to your email lists.
  2. Find out whether the acquired website works better with ad revenue, affiliate marketing or any other method of monetization. If the website is performing in only one of these avenues, it is wise to improve the same and not waste time on other sources of income. For example, if the website has great content but doesn't generate enough ad revenue, work to make the content better and minimize the effort you put on ad revenue.
  3. Be aware of the latest online trends in your industry. Make purchases before the trends kick in and sell them when the market is at its peak. You can always find good e-commerce sites with sub-par SEO.
  4. Target keywords that might blow up in the future. Again, having a thorough knowledge of the latest online trends will give you considerable advantage. Once the trend sets in, your website will receive unprecedented traffic from your keywords.
  5. If there is a domain/domain name that you think has a lot of potential in the upcoming future, by all means purchase it - irrespective of the content inside.

Note - Purchasing a competitor's website can also be a good strategy in many cases.

Goes without saying, a lot of the success of your new acquisition will also depend on the market, trends and the industry you are in. Always do a thorough market research and strategize accordingly before you invest.

Where to find the websites?
A simple Google search will give you loads of options to choose from:

  1. You can target websites that rank on initial few pages of Google but are still poorly monetized. These kind of websites are rare but if you can get your hands on them, you've struck gold.
  2. Go through the search engine results and look for websites that perform well in certain sub-niches but haven't been updating content consistently. E-commerce sites often end up like this because of various reasons. It is not difficult to find one in your niche.
  3. Search for keywords with low competition. Perhaps in industries with such low market demand that poorly maintained websites often show up at the top. With a little bit of effort, these kind of websites can make you a few bucks.
  4. Search for poorly performing websites on keywords with high competition. For this you need to ignore the first few pages of search results and go deeper. You will always find websites with passionate owners updating content consistently but somehow lack the technical SEO know-how. Target them.

Just like any business, website flipping too is a risky one. It is always advisable to conduct a thorough research while searching for the right website to flip. This will reduce the risk and increase your chances of a profitable purchase.

Note - Try going for sites with a potential to succeed rather than profitable sites that have already been well-established.

Buying The Website
Step 1: Monitor the website
Start with shortlisting a few websites that meet your criteria. You will need to keep a sharp eye on these websites and study their performance. Here are some things you'll need to monitor.
  1. Check the history of the website.
  2. Check the consistency of updating content.
  3. Check the outgoing links and where they lead to.
  4. Check daily, weekly and monthly visitor stats if possible.
  5. Check if the website has been optimized for On-page SEO.

Step 2: Find the best one
After you are done monitoring and researching websites you have shortlisted, it's time to choose one that fits your business plans, visions and goals.

Step 3: Contact the website owner
Find the contact information of the website owner. You should be able to contact them straight from their website. Most websites have contact numbers, email IDs and official addresses on the website. If not, search for websites that provide details of every domain owner. Here's what you do once your procure the contact details of the website owner:
  1. Shoot an email introducing yourself
  2. Let them know you like the website
  3. Based on their response, figure out the owner's affinity towards the site.
  4. State your purchase interest
  5. Negotiate the price
  6. Close the deal

Remember that every deal can be different. Some can be long and tiresome while others can be quick and easy. It depends on various factors but mostly on the willingness of the owner to let their website go. Individuals running websites as a hobby can be easy to deal with while organizations running e-commerce online can be difficult. In any case, having a little patience will prove to be the key.

Being absolutely meticulous with post-contract formalities
  1. Once the price has been agreed, be thorough about each and every little detail regarding the website and the sale. Some things to focus on are:
  2. Domain name registration details, business name, hosting details and ownership, incorporation information.
  3. Draft out a contract with the help of a lawyer and have everyone sign and date it.
  4. Procure the email lists. There is nothing more important.
  5. Confirm what kind of support you will be provided by the ex-owner during the transition period.
  6. If you have any questions regarding the website, get them answered before the transition period is over.

Getting the website ready for sale
Once the sale is done, you will have a few more things left to do. The website needs to be optimized for search engines. If you are familiar with SEO practices, then you are good to go. Or, you could hire an SEO expert to do the work for you. Alternately, learning SEO yourself isn't difficult either. There is a ton of content on the internet that you can refer to.

That's it. Congratulations! Your website is ready to be sold at a premium.


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